Description of the battlefield at Antietam



Date Written

Sept. 25, 1862

History Referenced

The following was written 161 years, 10 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Mercerville, Md.
Sept. 25/62

Dear Mother,

I thought I would write you a few lines today as I had not written for some time. We have to do all our writing with a pencil, ink is so scarce. Much as we can do to get it to back them. When I wrote last I was in Leesboro. We only stopped over night, then marched again. I have not had a letter from any one for over three weeks. We marched a fortnight steady. We have now layed still four days.

We are laying in the woods about a mile from where the late battle was fought. I suppose you heard we were not in that battle before this time. Our brigade was in and it was all cut to pieces. We were left one days march behind as a reserve and did not get there until two days after the battle. I tell you it was an awful sight. The rebs were piled up by the hundreds. I was out on the field yesterday. They are not all near all buryed yet. They have all vamoosed this part of the country. There is not one to be seen any where round here.

They do not seem to think there will be any more fighting round here tight away. I cannot tell you any news. You get it all before I do myself. I have not seen John Fenderson for three weeks. We left him at Fort Tillinghast as a guard. We expect him and the rest of the men up evry day. There has a man gone over to Sharpsburg today. We expect all our back mail is over there. You wanted to know what I done with my money. I sent one hundred and ninty dollars to Thompson, $130 by Wharff and sixty the day before we left Augusta and I have never received any answer from him whether he got it or not. I suppose he has written, but it is back with the other mail. I only kept sev or eight dollars and I wish I had kept more. I want you to send me a Farmer for three or four weeks. Now until you hear from me again, direct your letter to: Washington D. C., Co G. 16th Me Regt., Rickets Division, Hartsuffs Brigade. Write soon from your son,

John H. Frain

Give my love to all. Ask old Clarissa if she has heard any more news lately, if I got drunk there. I can’t here for you can’t get anything to get drunk on. You will have to pay the postage as we can’t get any stamps here.

Scans of Letter